Lord of The Rings’ and Star Wars actor receives honorary degree from Lancaster University

And Serkis (right) with Lancaster University Vice Chancellor Prof Mark E. Smith.
And Serkis (right) with Lancaster University Vice Chancellor Prof Mark E. Smith.
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Lord of the Rings and Star Wars actor Andy Serkis has received an honorary degree from Lancaster University.

Vice-Chancellor Prof Mark E. Smith presented the former Lancaster University student with a Doctor of Letters at this year’s graduation ceremonies.

The world-renowned actor, director and producer has taken leading roles in some of cinema’s biggest movie franchises.

His roles as Gollum in Lord of the Rings, Supreme Leader Snoke in Star Wars and Caesar in Planet of the Apes have become legendary, alongside significant non-performance-capture roles, including Ian Dury in Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll.

As a Dukes Theatre member, he took a lead role in their first Theatre-in-the-Park production in Lancaster.

A successful stage career followed, before movie stardom beckoned.

Andy has also most recently taken to a career as a film director - serving as second unit director on The Hobbit franchise, and then his directorial debut Breathe (2017), through his company, The Imaginarium.

Andy, who recently directed Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle, has strong ties with Lancaster, having studied visual arts, theatre studies, theatre design and movement at the university and during his early acting days appeared in A Midsummer Night’s Dream in Williamson Park for the Dukes, for whom he is now an honorary patron.

While studying at Lancaster University he’d worked with the Dukes designers, helped paint sets and eventually appeared in student productions there around 1983.

Then after leaving university, he applied for a job at the Dukes, appearing in 14 plays overall.